The Pass (2016) Poster

(2016)

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reminding
Kirpianuscus29 May 2021
Obvious, a film to remind stories, not to give ones. Nuanced, beautiful acted, proposing challenges for viewer at each step, a film about relations and the essence of characters , not a real lesson but a beautiful return to small details defining many of us. A film of words, confessions, small gestures changing many around and a good moral. Short, pleasant surprise. And surprising job of Russell Tovey.
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9/10
A cracking film, superbly acted.
Sleepin_Dragon3 January 2018
The Pass does in deed look at the taboo subject of being an openly gay man in top flight British football, and indeed sport generally. It's a cooking pot we all know will explode one day when shock horror a top flight player will come out. The film relies on the acting talents of two principles, Russell Tovey and Arinzé Kene, the acting is fabulous, Tovey in particular such a talented actor. I truly bought into the way in which the film spanned the three ages, makeup etc was excellent. Unfortunately It's not a film that would appeal to the mainstream, a pity because it's a great film with a powerful message.
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3/10
A thoroughly unpleasant treatment of a serious subject
MOscarbradley20 November 2016
"The Pass" has the distinction of being the first British film to devote itself entirely to the subject of homosexuality in Premiere League Football. It's a subject crying out to be tackled, (no pun intended), but this depressingly one note treatment isn't the way to do it. It's based on a play, first performed at the Royal Court a couple of years back, and it shows. Divided into 3 short acts over a ten year period, it's the story of Jason, a deeply closeted footballer who tries to hide his homosexuality by marrying, having children and, when the rumors get too much, having a sleazy sex- tape made with a dancer, all the while pinning for Ade, his black footballer buddy who had the courage to pack it in and come out of the closet.

There are moments when the film actually seems to be going somewhere and to be fair to writer John Donnelly it does attempt to show the hypocrisy of what it's like to be gay in the most macho of sports and then be forced to deny it but it's a nasty and unpleasant piece with a central character you can never empathize with. Jason is just the kind of prick you would cross the street to avoid. All credit to Russell Tovey for playing the part so brilliantly but a little more sympathy on the part of the writer could have gone a long way.

As the woman he hires for his sex tape Lisa McGrillis is also excellent and there is a nice cameo from Nico Miralegro as an over eager hotel bellboy. Sadly Arinze Kene as his would-be lover and the only nice character on screen, isn't up to the job; his performance like the film itself feels well below par. This might be how things are but it doesn't make for an entertaining, or even enlightening, evening at the cinema.
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Incredible acting
Red_Identity30 May 2017
This was such a pleasant surprise. I truly did not know anything other than this being an LGBT- film, and boy was it more than that. It's not exactly an LGBT romance film, and surely not one of a couple blossoming. Instead, it's a quiet heavy and quiet dark character study of one broken man. Arinzé Kene is very good and I hope this helps him get more roles, but it's truly Russell Tovey's film and he delivers. I thought he was quite good in Looking, but I never knew he would be possible of the deeper places he goes to here. It's an incredibly performance that should stand as one of the year's best.
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6/10
The Closet can get quite full at times
t-dooley-69-38691623 April 2017
Russell Tovey plays Jason who is with his team mate Ade (Arinze Kene) in a hotel room in Romania on the night before a big game. They spend the night talking of dreams, the chances they may take and horsing around just this side of being overtly homoerotic.

The air is crackling with sexual tension and then the story moves on into the future and that is where it gets very interesting and quite deep. To say more would ruin the plot. Now this is essentially a play in three acts and it could easily be staged. The cast is minimal and that means that everyone has to be on top form and they all are. Tovey has to carry most scenes but he is ably supported by the others involved.

This is a gay based film but it is not a bedroom fest but does feature a fair bit of nakedness but not the Full Monty type either. This is a film for those who like a very human story and have an interest in why so few football professional players have ever come out of the very packed footie closet.
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4/10
Very stagey.
Otkon8 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I simply don't agree with its tone either.

It is very talky. And that dialogue is quite thin. Nothing peppy, literary, metaphorically interesting. A lot of wasted words that reveal every little.

There are five characters in the whole thing. And only the two bellboys held my sympathy. The main cast is somewhat annoying, and 66% of them have clothing allergies apparently.

And the part where it tries to veer into Albee 'fun-and-games' territory with Harry and the bucket....that was deplorable, if not criminal, for its stereotypical portrayal of predatory behavior of repressed men. Why should Jason's tears mean anything to the viewer after that?

Not a fan.
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6/10
Gay soccer player sacrifices every shred of human decency for fame/fortune.
ohlabtechguy11 February 2021
Here we have a bummer of a story line about a gay soccer player who will DO ANYTHING to achieve a high status position as a professional soccer player. Story is told across a ten year timeline and takes place in 3 different hotel rooms. Acting is good which is why I gave it 6 stars instead of 3. The central character is vile and pathetic; hence, it's not worth watching. It's not really about being gay and in the closet; it's about valuing one's passion so much that one's character and ethical behavior take a back seat.
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7/10
This film has a split personality
chong_an17 August 2019
In 2 of 3 acts, the hunky leads spend much of their time shirtless, down at times to underwear, which screams "gay exploitation". But the subject is serious - does it make you happy to be rich and famous, while betraying your best mate, and more so, your true self?

Adapted from a stage play, all 3 acts are set in (different) hotel rooms. However, there is much discussion about what happens on the football (soccer) field. The title has dual meaning - there is a physical pass, and a football pass, both key to the central drama.
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5/10
What Loving a Narcissist Must Be Like
smooth_op_856 August 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Jason and Ade are two footballers that share a kiss and a passionate relationship one night. They both wanted it and loved it but Jason acted like he didn't care about Ade the next day. 5 years later they are in a hotel room Jason lives in and relive that moment albeit with a distraction for a brief moment.

Jason was a contender and Ade wasn't. Ade has a life and a man that loves him, still plays football and has a decent life he carved out for himself. Jason represents the what if? that Ade continues to deal with, until he finally walks out on Jason and realizes the What If is simply that. Jason is alone...the only moment he wasn't was when he was with Ade, the one who got away
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9/10
Better than what I expected
steeleronaldr30 July 2020
Warning: Spoilers
A dark character study on one man Russell Tovey who is in 99% of the movie and he carries it very good. Sports figures like star's are forced to live in the closet to assure the success they strive for. Told in three sets in a ten year period is well worth the watch. Only four actor's (3 male one female) tell how hiding one's orientation can ruin a man's self-assurance. Here the main character (Tovey) does a great job showing the pitfalls of success and drugs. In the second set it's a bit of a plot twist that's connects to first and third together and does so carefully.

What you don't get is full nudity with somewhat in one scene but for the most they are covered. The story stays on track and is mostly dialogue with little action to keep things from getting too broad. In all it's a better than average UK movie. I gave it 9 out of 10 because I felt it was missing that attention grabber. Russell Tovey is a name to watch as he show's he's got what it takes to carry a movie without losing focus.
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10/10
An excellent character study in the perils of choosing career over self realization
sinnerofcinema8 July 2017
I had the pleasure of watching this film during the 2017 Outfest Film Festival in Los Angeles and all I kept thinking to myself is WOW! This film was so well done and real to life. I actually know several personal friends who have chosen the path of career over finding true love. The results can be loneliness and missed opportunities. This film shows three different stages where love opportunities where missed over career goals. There are many levels to this film so I won't give anything from this film away. You MUST watch this film with an eye for details for there are many layers of story being told simultaneously. The actors were superb. Specially the main character who carried the film very well with conviction and authenticity. Kudos to him. Highly recommended. Beautifully done and executed.
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A sensual psychological study in narcissism
hddu10-819-374583 August 2019
"The Pass" is extremely well-thought, well-written and well-acted; an EXTREMELY rare combination for a gay themed film. But times have certainly changed, in that we now have the benefit of openly gay actors (such as Russel Tovey) who don't shy away from such projects, and can apply their experience and skill unhindered. I felt the chemistry between the two characters of Jason and Ade at the beginning of the film was both real and forced...maybe the scenes were shot out of order, but at times I felt they were seriously best mates, and at other times it felt as if they were just playing stereotypical 2-dimensional English soccer players. I can also say this about the Jason character overall; we're supposed to believe he has an irresistible magnetism and charisma, which is why people deal with his narcissism (a very real phenomenon). Yet at the same time, the final scene crossed the barrier of disbelief, in that I can't see the Ade character would have stuck around to "participate" in whatever Jason had going on if he were still infatuated with him. However, I think the ending was a perfect way to express just how it might have brought Ade to make certain decisions in the beginning. All in all, this is one of the highest caliber gay-themed films I have seen (rivals "Brokeback Mountain") and definitely worth watching .
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6/10
Boring. Poor acting. Could've been way better.
the_donnie16 March 2019
The only good part of Russell Tovey in this movie is his shirtless and bulge scenes. His acting gets annoying and repetitive, shallow and nothing meaningful to offer. The story is interesting if it was well played and directed. The slightest exciting part of this movie starts at 1h after the beginning.
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5/10
Good plot idea but is too choppy
codygdietrich17 February 2020
There are 5 characters to the entire movie and one doesn't speak and is only in it maybe 30 seconds. So there is a lot it alludes to, that is integral to the plot line, that you as a viewer doesn't actually experience. That leaves some things suggested but never confirmed or clarified. I don't want to comment on the acting because I'm not sure what they were going for. I've personal known people who are bi-polar and work I. The medical field that range and amount of emotions he goes through in the short time he does is characteristic of a psychotic break. He goes through emotions like repeatedly clicking the search button on a radio. That emotional instability would typically coincide with a disconnect with reality and a confusion with time place and person.

I personally love tragic films and the ones that break your heart, but the film didn't introduce the character enough to build a relationship and didn't give enough information for me to truly know and understand the circumstances. It's almost a movie about betrayal and decent into madness but was cut to short to truly make you care about and understand the main character and have it be truly tragic and leaves a feeling of confusion and wanting to know more.
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1/10
Painful to Sit Through
breckstewart20 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This review is basically a giant spoiler so be aware. I felt like I couldn't write one without it. The movie is basically three long scenes confined in three hotel rooms and filmed like a recorded play with only five characters. The two main protagonists are footballers Jason (Russell Tovey) and Ade (Arinzé Kene) who tease and kid each other in a crescendo of weird camaraderie meant to convey their youthful days. They end up kissing, making out and more is implied. The whole time I was waiting for something else to happen like a cut to any football scene to help us care while establishing the characters. But we got only talking and more talking. That's about the gist of it although the acting is solid throughout.

Cut to scene two set 5 years later in a second larger hotel room where Jason who is now an established star in the field and tries to have sex with Lyndsey (Lisa McGrillis) who seems to be either a party girl or a prostitute (I'm still not sure). We find out she is trying to secretly film them having sex. It is then revealed that Jason set it up himself to promote and preserve his image as a macho sport figure. The acting by Lisa McGrillis is atrocious to say the least and I felt this scene was by far the worst part of the movie. By this point Jason has become this unbearable pompous prick and even though his acting is good, the character has become totally unlikable.

Then we get to the third act of this play and this is where I felt the most pain. Jason invites Ade to come to his hotel room to reminisce I guess but then it ends up being a confrontation of wills where Jason tries to humiliate both Ade and a bellboy thrown in for good measure in any way possible while maintaining a sort of edgy attraction to Ade. Jason at this point is nothing short of monstrous and we understand somewhat that his homosexuality is something he is unable to accept making him act out but the way the movie is structured, there is no redeeming quality whatsoever that would make us care about Jason by the end.

I was hoping for a change of heart or at least a sort of epiphany on Jason's terrible behavior but although he gets emotional, it's only to serve his selfish purposes and he seems to be unaware of how disgusting he has become. Ade is by far the best character and Arinzé Kene injects him with a vulnerable yet strong core. But Jason is set to be the main star of this scenario and I don't know exactly what the point of the movie was since it ended in such an abrupt and unsatisfying manner with a flashback. I might be wrong here but I felt like this could have worked a lot better if Jason had exhibited any remorse or willingness to set a course to find his true self. But he remained a jerk and he gets no sympathy from me. The movie was painful to watch and it might have been the point but to me, it served no purpose and I find myself regretting my foray into this particular universe which failed to make me appreciate it in any way. Therefore 1 star is the only thing this will get from me.
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6/10
They Wear More Than Underwear
Magnolia_Green25 February 2019
What does the struggle to accept who you are look like? How does it manifest in your life? How does it affect the decisions you make or your actions? For one, it may have ruined their dream career but they flourished in life. The other...they flourished in their dream career but they are drowning in the sorrows of missed opportunities of love. The movie isn't half bad. But sweet Jesus the ridiculous dialogues that went for what felt like hours...was too much! Back and forth and back and forth...like a seesaw. Up and down. Happy and sad. Anger and calm. In my heart I wish they would have just chosen one. It was sad to watch someone be so lost in who they are versus who they portray to be. You can feel the break in them as they speak. You can see the break. Lastly and relatively randomly...why the hell was two guys in their tighty-whities? Is that what mean do? Is that what gay men do? Because it was very awkward to see. I wouldn't watch it again. But it wasn't bad.
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8/10
Well acted drama
scottinhawaii-19 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Yeah it's very stagelike because it was adapted from a stage play. But put aside the artifice that each of the three acts at confined to one room, and you have a good story that is well acted with nuance. Yeah it has some moments where things get long, but in the end it works. And sometimes the tone is a bit off for a movie.

The ending may not satisfy many as it reminds us of all the tragic ending gay movies we've seen. And there have been too many. But the tragedy of the closet is real. Even today.
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2/10
Tedious
It's long, claustrophobic and boring. Ben A Young forgot what is cinema while adapting a play, cinema isn't theatre, it's also images just not lazily filming people talking. The photography is just okay, the mise en scène mediocre. The performances ain't bad, Russel Tovey and Nico Mirallegro are excellent, Arinzé Kene does his best with what he's been given, Lisa McGrillis is at best forgettable. The problem is that the characters are not very well developed. It feels like watching a never-ending short movie, 20 minutes that would feel like 2 hours. There's just not enough material to make a long feature really. The script is not that bad but the dialogues are not terrible, but pretty mediocre, It's meant to be deep, but it's all forgettable, cliché and trying hard to shock but it's just manage to be tiring. That film felt like watching paint drying then peeling.
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1/10
Disappointment
cosmic_kisses1233 October 2021
3 main scenes that dragged and honestly felt as though it wasn't modernised at all. The message wasn't very good ether.
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10/10
Loved It!
rfieldj8 January 2019
I had a chance to watch The Pass last night on Netflix, and I loved it. It starts out lagging, and you're not totally sure where it's going, or if it's actually going somewhere. But once the story line starts to move it becomes so captivating you can't stop watching. In many ways, it reminded me of a Tennessee Williams play.

It's not a gay romance, and it is somewhat dark at times,but I think it captures everything I've ever heard about closeted gay footballers. I'd recommend it highly.
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8/10
Intense and realistic.
leejnelson-683-10319524 July 2021
A great film with some intense scenes. A realistic view of dealing with feelings you cannot control and don't necessarily want.

Once more Tovey demonstrates how multifaceted his skills are.
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7/10
Russell Tovey Made The Movie
ricardo_edm12 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This movie may not be the first to present what many professional athletes chose to do when faced with the decision of career or sexual orientation. However, it sure was the first to showcase in such great detail the amazing performance by Russell Tovey. I knew Tovey could act but I really think this was without doubt his best performance to date by miles. Many people complain that the movie is too slow but I found it perfectly paced.
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1/10
Too staged.
m20589301 April 2021
This is what happens when you are just trying to meet quotas for the BAFTA nominations. You make a joke of a movie.
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7/10
An enjoyable and interesting chamber film
ori_6414 April 2017
I almost skipped this film due to some bad reviews I read about it, and therefore was surprised to find that it is quite enjoyable and interesting. Acting is great, especially Tovey Russel's performance which I found excellent in spite of a somewhat exaggerated character script. I admit the subject treatment is a bit outdated, and the script is more suitable for chamber theater than for a film. But still, this is a very good gay flick.
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1/10
Tawdry and mediocre just sexually tense and tempting..
prasanttrimurthy20 December 2017
First of all, I am at loss to even understand why people with good cinematic taste have described this film as excellent, or comparatively better than other similar themes.

There is nothing appealing or moving about this film - it is neither evocative nor emotionally delicious. There is no homophobia involved as I myself loved some gay themed stories and gripping dramas.

At times when most powerful same-sex tales like Call Me by Your Name, Moonlight, Carol and Before the Fall are being made, The Pass hasn't really touched the concept pretty well. Instead, it seemed like a shallow extension of some 7 min short movie cramped with male nudity and deliberately erotic moments that take place between two rich, frivolous, masculine footballers in posh sort of settings.

I am sorry but after watching some meaningful brilliant gay portrayals so far, films of this sort - mediocre, tawdry and annoyingly cliched - do not appeal to viewers like me. I am more than shocked to find that it was nominated for an award.
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